South African man guilty of brutal rape and murder of a university student sentenced to life

A South African man has been sentenced to life in prison after he was convicted by the court for the brutal rape and murder of a university student .

The man who was a former staff of the South African post office, Luyanda Botha appeared in Western Cape High Court on Friday, November 15, and was sentenced for the rape and murder of Uyinene Mrwetyana,19, who was a student at the University of Cape Town.

South African man guilty of brutal rape and murder of a university student sentenced to life


Botha, 42, pleaded guilty to the charges against him for the incident which happened in August 2019.

Botha was first charged for raping 19-year-old Mrwetyana, a first-year University of Cape Town student, twice before killing her on August 24.

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They had first met two weeks earlier when she inquired about a package, he made advances towards her but he claims she didn’t respond and was scared. He later arranged to be alone with Mrwetyana in the locked Clareinch Post Office on the said day after telling the student her parcel was ready for pick up.

He admitted;

“I grabbed her by the waist and forcibly pulled her closer to me… the deceased fought while I sexually violated her” .

“She managed to run to the door but I caught up with her and knocked her to the ground, dragged her to the post office safe and locked her inside while she was still screaming.”

“I choked the deceased and she fought back and kicked me.”

He added that he took a 2kg weight, used to weigh the packages received at the post office, and used it to kill her, targeting her head. He then hid her body in the post office’s safe and returned the next day to remove her body in a large postal mail bag in his car. At night, he drove to a field in Lingelethu West, Khayelitsha, and dumped her body in a shallow hole before setting it on fire.

The Judge presiding over the matter, Gayaat Salie-Hlophe gave Botha a life sentence for murder, two life sentences on both counts of rape, and five years for defeating the course of justice. The five-year sentence will run concurrently.

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He will also not be eligible for parole for 25 years.

The killing sparked large protests over the high levels of sexual violence against women in South Africa.

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